Packaging Trends 2022: An Introspective Guide

Aleksandra Owczarek
Aleksandra Owczarek | 5 min read

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Why a packaging trends guide?

Grab a sit around the fire, and let me tell you what I've learnt in over a year of writing about packaging trends and cardboard boxes. 📦

In this day and age, it's relatively easy to use a platform for spotting macro trends, such as Google Trends, Trendspotter, etc. But, as with everything else that involves marketing and AI, things aren't as easy as they might seem.

A trendspotting guide tells you what to pay attention to and when. This further enables marketers to successfully speculate microtrends based on buying habits, psychographics, etc.

In short, it's a tool that helps you create a complete marketing strategy.Packaging Trends blog cover

A summary of the disruptive e-commerce factors of 2021

The global events of 2021 were an avalanche of unpredictable situations for every vendor. 

As a startup that sold custom packaging to over 53,000 customers in 2021, we had to prepare and tackle these challenges head-on and in record time. Here are the key lessons that we at Packhelp had to learn to operate as smoothly as possible:


➡ 2021 was not going to be anything like 2020

According to a report published by Statista in 2021, “the ability to order customised products” was still an essential factor for B2B buyers when shopping online. The packaging industry needed to follow the B2B trends to the dot on all markets with easy return policies and fast deliveries.

The global supply-chain crisis was inevitable and approaching rapidly

At the beginning of 2021, panic buying at its finest made packaging stocks diminish in a record time, with prices skyrocketing globally. Businesses stocked up to ensure the continuity of trade for the uncertain future. Unfortunately, the selling power of 2020 was beginning to sound like a distant echo in 2021.

The cardboard shortage skyrocketed packaging prices everywhere

As concerns about rising demand grew, giants like Amazon stockpiled cardboard starting January 2021, leaving smaller businesses empty-handed. These actions created a monopoly and profoundly affected companies that purchase their raw materials and packaging from China and US.

 🧠  If you're interested in reading the extended version, we have an entire chapter available for FREE. 👀

Four packaging trends that are here to stay packaging trends bannerSubtle branding

The concept of subtle branding draws its origins from subtle advertising. The latter was first used in 1927 in the movie Wings for a placing bar of Hershey's chocolate. Today you can effortlessly subtle a brand with the help of social media advertising, and packaging is the primary enabler for it

The main reason behind adopting the subtle branding approach on the packaging is to avoid visual redundancy.

Paid advertising is bombarding users with repetitive flashy logos and bold fonts, and it’s currently creating advertising fatigue, which leads to a decreased buying desire and brand association.

Note: There's a colossal difference between subtle packaging and discreet packaging.

Consumers value the product features and how it serves their needs than flashy logos. You are already starting a successful subtle branding campaign by showcasing the desired information on the packaging rather than designing large logo placeholders.subtle packaging trends

Minimalistic packaging

Minimalist packaging designs are always in trend due to their high conversion. They do not contain distracting graphic elements, making them stand out from other products on a virtual or physical shelf.  

A minimalistic approach to packaging design goes hand in hand with sustainability. It gets the job done quick and easy and is suitable for all, regardless of what you’re selling.packaging design

Vintage packaging 

This packaging trend goes hand in hand with nostalgia and relies on graphic elements and copy that evokes the past.

A viral example is the traditional brand Coca-Cola, which brought the old-school bottle and labels back to life for a limited edition campaign.vintage packaging trendsIs vintage packaging suitable for young brands? Young brands lack the traditional elements that generate the nostalgic vibe, but can successfully rely on newstalgia with their packaging!

Newstalgia evokes a sense of nostalgia through packaging inspired by the past. This packvertising concept depends on bringing the old back to life! It goes hand in hand with upcycling, recommerce and sustainability.vintage packaging trends box

Sustainable packaging 

According to Google's 2022 digital marketing trend report, sustainability is top-of-mind globally, with recyclable packaging among the main traffic drivers. This can mean one thing for the packaging industry - the time is now.

To support both businesses and consumers in becoming green, Google introduced an amazing feature. You can now search for eco-friendly options and alternatives in your area.

Eco Certificate

This is a crucial step in facilitating access to environmentally conscious products and services, and it pushes all parties to take action now. And we cannot be happier about it!

Packhelp started a Sustainability Hub initiative to help businesses with packaging and corporate communication. We offer sustainable packaging solutions and help you every step of the way when switching to the green side.  Eco-properties collection

Take advantage of our free resources

There's more to trendspotting than data monitoring & Pinterest mood boards. 

Something as mundane as packaging trends can easily pass unobserved; in reality, it's one of the best marketing insights a business owner can gather without investing anything extra.

A trendspotting guide is an excellent predictive tool. Every spotted microtrend brings you closer to understanding your consumer. Staying on top of the game has never been so easy!

Download the full trend report here


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